Creative Outdoor Patio Enclosures
Patio covers have become quite popular in recent years for homeowners looking to improve their outdoor space. Covers provide sun and rain protection that will allow you to spend more comfortable time outside. They also will keep your furniture dry, allowing it to last for several extra years. A cover can also reduce your energy bills and make your yard look even prettier. Insulated patio covers offer even more benefits to homeowners.
Mobile home repair can be a daunting task. A popular addition to mobile homes are aluminum patio covers. Aluminum patio covers offer a nice opportunity to increase outdoor living space. Typically these structures have a "U Pan" or "V Pan" design. A lot of people have tried to enclose the area underneath and heat it. Most people fail at this. I will tell you how to successfully accomplish this.
The hardest part to this task is effectively insulating the aluminum patio cover. Most people will see how the pans are shaped and become perplexed. The most effective way is to fill the low voids of the cover with 2" foam board. Measure and cut strips of the foam board to fit in between the ridges of the pans. You want the surface of the foam board to be flush with the top of the ridges of the pans. If you are not flush yet, add an appropriate thickness of foam to make the surfaces flush. Once flush, overlay a foam board across the entire patio cover. You can use 3/4" or 1" foam. Use screws with washers to attach the top layer of foam. If you are not going to finish the interior of the roof and don't want to see screws poking through, you can glue the foam down.
The next step is to install a rubber EPDM membrane over the roof surface. Black rubber is going to be the most readily available and inexpensive. I recommend using white EPDM rubber instead of black. You might have to call around to obtain this but it is worth the trouble. A white roof surface will reflect the sun rays in the summer time and help on keeping it cool. The insulation will keep the heat in during the winter months. Typically you would not glue the membrane down. Termination bars held down by screws are the best way to attach the roof. Install the termination bar on the vertical surface of the gutter/fascia that is bordering the patio cover. Use a 1/4" hex head screw that is approx 1" in length.
Make sure to properly tuck or flash the roof where it meets the existing structure. If you have an existing rubber roof and you have enough material, detach the termination bar and tuck the rubber under the other membrane. Then re-attach the termination bar.
You now have an insulated roof that you can enclose to fit your lifestyle. Use conventional wall construction to assemble and build walls around the area.
Insulated patio covers have a piece of insulation in the middle of two pieces of patio cover material. One popular choice of material is aluminum. Aluminum is lightweight, non-toxic, and will last for many years because it is quite durable. Aluminum is much less expensive than a wood or metal cover, and is available in many different colors, designs, and finishes. They can withstand extreme rain or sun as well as scratching. They can be cleaned very easily and require very little maintenance otherwise. To clean it, all you need to do is take a broom to it with some cleaning solution.
Insulated patio covers have an advantage over non-insulated counterparts because they can keep your patio even cooler in hot summer months. The insulation is made of foam sheets that are placed in the middle of two aluminum panels. This design enhances the cover’s effectiveness as a weather deterrent, and will also help reduce your energy bills by even more since it keeps the area under your patio cooler than ever before. Insulated covers can also have polystyrene cores and can be equipped with cleat connectors made of vinyl.
The covers are normally made with interlock features that make the padding useful since it becomes stuck tightly in between the aluminum pieces. Aluminum can be purchased with laminate finishes that will provide extra resistance during rain and snow periods. These covers will also mute the sound of raindrops, an added bonus. They require special treatments to your roof and can be fitted with plywood if you do not want an aluminum cover.
All in all, you have many options when purchasing a cover – you get to choose the material, whether it is insulated or not, and if you want a finished insulated cover or not. Be sure to do adequate research before buying so you buy what is best for you. I recommend insulated patio covers.